SBD/1/Leagues Governing Bodies

NLRB LOOKS TO PUT BRAKES ON ANTITRUST SUIT AGAINST NBA

     The NLRB voted 5-0 yesterday "to seek a stay" of the class-
action, antitrust lawsuit filed in Minneapolis federal court
against the NBA by Patrick Ewing, Michael Jordan, and 14 other
players, according to Mark Asher in today's WASHINGTON POST.  The
NLRB is "maintaing that the suit cannot go forward unless players
vote to remove -- or decertify -- the union as their collective-
bargaining representative."  Asher:  "The first hearing in the
antitrust case is set for Sept. 6 in Minneapolis, and NLRB
officials are not certain the decertification process will be
completed by then."  Jeffrey Kessler, lawyer for the players
seeking decertification:  "I think it's incorrect; I don't think
the courts will accept it.  I do not believe this action in any
way will impede the progress of our antitrust case."  NBA Senior
VP Jeffrey Mishkin said the ruling "merely confirms that complex
labor issues remain to be resolved and that misrepresentations
were made to our players that antitrust litigation would be a
quick-fix substitute for collective bargaining."  NBPA Exec Dir
Simon Gourdine:  "That lawsuit involves the players against the
NBA.  This decision by the NLRB does not have much effect on the
union per se" (Mark Asher, WASHINGTON POST, 8/1).
     WILLIAMS SAYS NEW DEAL IS CLOSE:  According to a report by
Kerry Eggers in today's Portland OREGONIAN, NBPA President Buck
Williams "believes the union and league officials are a 'couple
of meetings away' from a collective bargaining agreement that
could help ward off the decertification movement."  Williams:
"It's a race against time.  I'm very confident we can bring a
revised agreement back to the players before the decertification
vote takes place.  It's something that can and will be done."
According to Williams, another negotiating session between the
union and league is tentatively scheduled for this Thursday or
Friday (Portland OREGONIAN, 8/1).
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